Our new pastor, Rev. Dr. David Jones, is a fourth generation Methodist preacher, recently retired after 43 years under appointment serving churches ranging in size from 40 to 4,500 members. His wife Cathy is a retired dental hygienist who takes her 93 year old mother to Jasper First UMC most Sundays but will worship with us here on occasion.
They now live halfway up Hendricks Mountain in Bent Tree, just east of Jasper. Their son and daughter-in-law live in Decatur and have 2 children, ages 5 and 2. Their daughter and son-in-law live in New Orleans and have a 3 year old daughter. Their children and grandchildren are the greatest joys of their life.
David and Cathy chose Bent Tree because there are stables where Cathy can board her horse Cimarron and trails where she can ride him and hike with their Golden Retriever Bonnie. Lake Tamarack provides a place for her to kayak and David to fish. His other hobbies include slow-smoking barbecue, reading about ships and aviation, and photography.
What can we say about Rita? Like any great church, Chapel Hill is comprised of great volunteers. Rita epitomizes the wonderful volunteer/servant spirit that makes Chapel Hill GREAT! She is our volunteer Administrative Assistant and is the "central nervous system" of Chapel Hill. Rita retired from a career in Social Services and has a heart as big as Rome itself.
Cindy Story has served as a church pianist since she was 15 years old. After graduating from Berry College and Georgia State University, she continued to serve in church ministry as pianist, children’s and youth choir coordinator, and many other leadership roles while teaching in her private piano studio. While Cindy was serving a local church in late 1991, Founding Pastor Mark Trull invited her to audition for the pianist position for Rome’s New Methodist Church, which later became Chapel Hill UMC.
When Pastor Trull also discovered that her husband Steve Story (graduate of Berry College, West Georgia, and Lincoln Memorial University) was serving as a music minister, he invited them to audition as a team after attending a children’s choir program they were leading. They applied together and 26 years later continue to call Chapel Hill home. Serving the Lord through music at Chapel Hill continues to be a blessing in their lives. Steve and Cindy have 2 grown children and a daughter-in-law who all live in Texas.
Steve Burkhalter began singing in the Chapel Hill adult choir in 1993. A graduate of Pepperell HS, Steve also grew up singing in church music programs and has blessed many with his talent. He quickly became an integral part of the music team, eventually moving to the keyboard where he remains today. Steve works at Shaw Industries as a Lift Truck Operator and has a son, Jason Burkhalter.